Adam Chalfant is an All-American, Placing Sixth at NCAAs
March 23, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
OKLAHOMA CITY - Hoosier heavyweight Adam Chalfantfinished sixth at the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships, becoming Indiana's first wrestling All-American since Ricky Alcala and Matt Powless did so in 2011. Chalfant is the 51st different Hoosier to reach the All-American stand, combining to accumulate 77 All-America recognitions in school history.
Chalfant wraps up his Hoosier career with an overall record of 78-30, including a 28-6 mark in 2013-14.
The Hoosiers posted a top-25 team finish, one of 10 Big Ten schools do so.
COMPLETE IU RESULTS
Chalfant started off his final day with a bang, blasting a double leg driving Northwestern's Mike McMullan to his back less than 10 seconds into the bout. McMullan rode the inertia, however, and rolled through the attempted takedown to end up on top of Chalfant and record the pin at 0:18.
It was another conference foe for Chalfant in the fifth-place bout, Michigan State's Mike McClure. Points were at a premium in the one as a pair of escapes were the only tallies entering the third period locked up at 1-1. Chalfant took a shot late in the frame, but was blocked and then re-shot on by McClure for a Spartan takedown. After a quick escape Chalfant fired off a flurry of shots before ultimately falling 3-2.
SESSION IV RECAP
Both heavyweights were able to escape from the bottom position to start the second and third periods, respectively. Gwiazdowski then took advantage of a back pedal stumble from Chalfant, pouncing on him for the go-ahead takedown with 43 seconds remaining in the third frame. Chalfant broke free with ten ticks left but couldn't chase down the retreating Gwiazdowski in the 5-4 defeat.
Fellow fifth-year senior Ryan LeBlancadvanced to Session IV as well. He battled in the round of 12 for the right to be named an All-American. Northwestern's Pierce Harger stood in the way to the stand, however, posting a 4-0 decision over LeBlanc.
LeBlanc concludes his senior campaign with a record of 38-15 and leaves IU owning an overall career mark of 103-51 as a three-time NCAA Qualifier.
SESSION III RECAP
Chalfant is the first IU All-American since 2011 (Ricky Alcala and Matt Powless) and will face 2nd-seeded Nick Gwiazdowski Friday night live on ESPN. Coverage of the championship semifinals starts at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT. LeBlanc's round of 12 bout pits him against Northwestern's Pierce Harger, the #7 seed at 165 pounds. Watch that match on ESPN3.com.
As a team, the Hoosiers are tied with Pittsburgh for 19th place with three of six sessions complete.
Chalfant avenged a loss two years in the making. Oklahoma State's Austin Marsden ended Chalfant's first season as a Hoosier, taking a 6-4 sudden victory to eliminate Chalfant from the 2012 NCAAs. This time it was Chalfant coming out on top, on the strength of a second period takedown. An edge-of-the-mat scramble ended with Chalfant engulfing Marsden in a bear hug and driving him into the mat. The Hoosier heavyweight fended off a few shots frpm Marsden down the stretch and sealed a 3-2 decision.
LeBlanc took to the mat twice, arising victorious in each endeavor. First, it was a 6-4 tally over Wyoming's Dakota Friesth. Both grapplers notched a takedown and subsequent escape in the opening frame, setting up a 3-3 score heading to the second stanza. Friesth began on bottom and escaped for a temporary 4-3 lead. LeBlanc retaliated moments later with this second takedown of the bout to go ahead for good. He added an escape of his own in the third period and moved on to face Chris Moon (Virginia Tech) in the next round.
There was no trailing for LeBlanc in the consolation third round. He caught Moon in an attempt to roll free in the second period, freezing Moon on his backside long enough to warrant a takedown and two near-fall points. The 5-1 triumph pushes LeBlanc into the round of 12 and one win shy of becoming an All-American. It also marked the 38th victory of LeBlanc's season, threatening to the crack the all-time top-10 at IU (39 wins).
Taylor Walsh competed on Friday as well, suffering a 13-4 major decision to Army's Paul Hancock. Walsh concludes his redshirt junior campaign at 35-7 with a school-record 26 pins. That falls total currently ranks number one nationally. In addition, his 47 career pins are tied with Viktor Sveda (1998-2002) for the most in school history.
DAY ONE RECAP
Chalfant enters Friday just one win shy of guaranteeing All-America status and three victories away from a national title. Meanwhile, Taylor Walsh and Ryan LeBlancboth split matches on Thursday and are still in the running for third place. Each needs a trio of triumphs to clinch their spot on the All-America stand.
Indiana is in 23rd place of the team standings with two of six sessions in the books.
Bloomsburg's Justin Grant was no match for Chalfant in the first round as IU's quarterfinalist accumulated five takedowns, an escape and 1:23 worth of riding time advantage for a 12-4 major decision. It marked Chalfant's fifth major this season and 19th of his Hoosier career.
He battled Penn State's Jonathan Gingrich in the second round. They had split two previous meetings, but Chalfant took the rubber match by a final tally of 5-2. The big fella nailed an early takedown and never looked back. He improves to 27-3 in his senior year and faces Austin Marsden of Oklahoma State in the quarters.
Marsden, the #11-seed, upset sixth-seeded Mike McMullan (Northwestern) to set up the showdown with third-seeded Chalfant. The two heavyweights have met once before as Marsden ended Chalfant's first season as a Hoosier at the 2012 NCAA Championships with a 6-4 win in the second sudden victory period.
Walsh's day was a roller coaster ride of many ups and downs. It began falling behind 2-0 to Chattanooga's Alex Hudson in the first round. Hudson then got in deep on another shot, but Walsh fended off the attack and sunk in a tight front quarter nelson. Moments later it was pin number 26 for Walsh and the 47th fall of his career, pulling him even with Viktor Sveda (1998-2002) for the all-time school record.
His second bout took an opposite track, starting with a high and ending in a downer. A successful video review challenge from the Indiana coaches gave Walsh a pair of near-fall points to end the first period leading 8-6. He added an escape tally in the second and carried a 9-6 edge into the final frame. The #6-seed, Nestor Taffur, stormed back though, tying the score at 10-10 with under 10 seconds left and posting a fall at the 6:57 mark.
Walsh will see a familiar face in the corner of the mat in his next bout. Former Hoosier teammate and current Army assistant coach, Paul Young, guides Paul Hancock against Walsh. Walsh brings along a 35-6 season mark while Hancock sits at 28-13.
LeBlanc was responsible for the only two takedowns of his opening bout, carding one in both the second and third periods. His 5-3 decision came over the #12-seed, Jackson Morse of Illinois. LeBlanc now has five career NCAA Championship wins, including two over seeded adversaries. Fellow unseeded grappler, Josh Veltre of Bloomsburg, kept it going in the second round with a 5-2 winner over LeBlanc.
LeBlanc's first Day Two showing pits him against Wyoming's Dakota Friesth (29-9). If LeBlanc is able to rack up three more wins, he'll not only be crowned an All-American but would also move into the top-10 all-time in school history with 39 total wins this season.
Luke Sheridanhad his hand raised once as well, notching his first career win at nationals. After dropping into the consolation bracket pigtail match, Sheridan knocked out a seeded foe. The California native took down 12th-seeded Nick Vetterlein of Virginia Tech with a half minute left in the opening frame. He then added on a pair of escapes en route to a 4-2 decision.
Sheridan faced Wyoming's Benjamin Stroh next, digging out of a 4-0 hole and knotting the score at 4-4 with a second-period takedown. It was Stroh getting the takedown in the final period though, eliminating Sheridan from the competition. Sheridan concludes his junior campaign with an overall record of 28-16.